Google Experience Launcher on non-Nexus devices, are third party chargers safe – Android Q&A

March 20, 2014
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Welcome back to another edition of the Android Q&A, where we strive to answer as many of your great questions as possible. This week, we talk about why the Google Now launcher is restricted only to Nexus and Google Play Edition devices, why you can’t talk and use data on your phone at the same time, how to change your location in your Google account, and whether using a charger of another device is okay. Let’s get started!


Question 1

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Why is the Google Now launcher available only for Nexus and Google Play Edition devices? And, do you think it will be made available to other Android devices at any time? – Brian Martinez

Answer

As you may know, the Google Now launcher, previously known as the Google Experience launcher that was available with the Nexus 5, made its way to the Google Play Store, but was unfortunately available only to users with Nexus or Google Play Edition devices. While the official reason behind this restriction is unknown, but there are a couple of reasons why we think this is the case.

First, it could well be Google “marking its territory.” With OEMs releasing their own versions of overlays with numerous enhancements and features, this could be an attempt by the company to give users that own Google devices a better user experience, beyond what the minimalistic stock Android has to offer.

Another reason could be the requirement of Android 4.4 Kitkat to use the Google Now launcher. Apart from the Nexus and Google Play Edition devices, the latest version of Android is available to a very limited number of devices. With Kitkat making its way to more and more smartphones and tablets, hopefully Google will then open up their launcher to these devices as well.

Of course, if you’re willing to go the unofficial route, it’s quite easy to get the Google Now launcher on your device. You can find the detailed instructions on how to do so here.


Question 2

Why can’t you talk and use the Internet on your phone at the same time on the Nexus 5? – Marlon Cruickshank

Answer

This problem related to not being able to talk and use the Internet on the Nexus 5 at the same time is generally considered to be an issue with CDMA networks, like the networks of Verizon and Sprint, even though some Verizon users mentioned that they didn’t face this issue. This could also be related to the bands used by the network carrier, as the Nexus 5 is a dual-band CDMA device.


Question 3

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How do I change the location on my Google account? – Samuel Cacalheiro

Answer

Go to the Google homepage. On the bottom right hand side, select Settings, and then click on Search Settings in the popup menu. Click on Location in the menu on the left side, where you can set your current location.


Question 4

Does using a 2 Amp or higher charger have a negative impact on your phone battery? My Nexus 5 gets quite warm when plugged into the Samsung Galaxy tablet charger. – Neil Tanna

Answer

The best way to avoid any issues with charging is to use the charging cable and/or AC plug that was provided with your device. Especially if this results in heating issues, it’s best to not use that particular charger anymore. Every phone has a chip that controls how much power it can draw, so even if you use a 2 amp or higher charging option, the phone will draw only whatever is specific to that particular device.


As always, keep sending us your questions in the comments section below, in the comments section of the Youtube video, or on Google+, and we’ll try our best to get you the answers you need!

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